FAQs, Helps, and Extras

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Language Arts Curriculum

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FAQs

How do your Language Arts levels compare to public school grade levels?

As we create new editions of language arts, we are aligning the instruction methods and layouts more toward grade level. We are focusing the lower levels more on reading, writing, and spelling.

Many concepts are still considered advanced but they are introduced in lessons that are easier to follow for both the child (in the self-guided levels) and the parent (in levels 3 and under). We now save some of the more complex grammar concepts for higher levels, but grammar is still covered thoroughly. Our courses have increased, rather than decreased, in how thorough and rigorous they are for children as there is more learning woven into each and every lesson. If your child is advanced, they may be able to move through the lessons more quickly. 

You can download our Language Arts Levels K-8 free. By downloading the free courses, you will be able to see exactly how concepts are introduced and taught.   

Does my child need to take the placement test?

Not necessarily. Most children can start on their corresponding grade level for their age if they do not need extra reading help. We suggest taking the Placement Test if you are unsure whether or not the child needs extra reading help. 

How do I get started and what do I need to order?

We are so happy that you chose The Good and the Beautiful to be part of your homeschooling journey!

This is one of the most common questions parents have when they first visit our website. Our Getting Started Guide will help you navigate what products are needed and what is typically used for each age group. Once you’ve received your order, this same guide will walk you through your new courses.

My child placed much lower than his or her corresponding grade level. What should I do?

This is extremely common for children just starting The Good and the Beautiful curriculum. Our curriculum fills gaps and holes that either your child didn’t retain or were not taught in their prior curriculum. Do not worry about starting an older child in a lower level. He or she will likely go through the courses quickly and catch up to his or her corresponding grade level without missing any important foundational principles. Also, when the child reaches high school age, he or she can jump right to the high school course, which reviews all grammar principles, regardless of what levels he or she has completed.

My child is an advanced reader but behind in grammar and/or writing. What should I do?

Levels 1, 2, and 3 review all the grammar and spelling principles taught in the previous courses. Thus, advanced readers can usually start one or two levels higher than they place if they only place in a lower level because of grammar and spelling. Levels 4 and above are mainly self-directed. If the child does not have a good foundation in spelling and grammar, consider starting with Level 3. Advanced readers will naturally go through the courses quickly. Also, your child can continue to improve reading skills by reading higher-level books on our book list.

What if my child took the placement test after finishing the course and he or she didn't pass to move on to the next level?

This is not common. However, if this is the case after you followed instructions, completed the entire course book, and feel that the child made progress , move to the course for the next level. If you feel that the child did not make good progress, or if the child does not pass the placement test after finishing the NEXT course (two course books in a row), it is suggested you have the child tested for a reading or learning disability.

Note: Usually you do not need to have your child take the placement test after finishing each course. Simply move to the next course level.

My young child placed in a high level. Is he/she really ready for it?

You will have to use your best judgment, especially taking into consideration the child’s handwriting and writing abilities. The biggest struggle for younger children in higher levels is usually the writing assignments. In addition to this, our placement tests are limited and cannot test all grammar principles; consequently, there may be gaps in learning if younger children start at a high level. It is recommended that you do not start any child more than one level above his or her corresponding grade level (allowing the child to move through the levels as quickly as he or she is able).

Will starting my advanced reader on a lower level slow down his or her reading progress?

Even advanced readers usually benefit by reviewing and cementing foundational phonic principles, which will help them know how to sound out challenging words when they encounter them. Advanced readers usually take less time to go through the courses and quickly reach higher levels. In the meantime, you can help your child continue to gain reading progress by completing the following:
1. Supplement with books from The Good and the Beautiful Book List that are on the child’s reading level. The book list has a separate placement test to determine his or her reading level.
2. Read aloud with your child books that are 2–3 levels higher than the child’s personal reading level, switching off every paragraph or page. When reading on their own, children often skip through challenging words. Reading out loud with the parent or teacher encourages the child to sound out
challenging words.
3. Have the child listen to audio books (from The Good and the Beautiful Book List ) that are 2–3 levels higher than his or her reading level.

Will my child ever be able to catch up?

Start your child on the level for which he or she tested and be consistent each day with doing the recommended time for the course (see the “About this Course” section at the beginning of each course book). Then, do not stress! If a child does not have reading disabilities, he or she can start with the first high school course as soon as they reach high school age. It is not necessary to complete Level 7 beforehand. For example, if a child completed Level 5 and just turned 14, he or she can jump to the High School 1 course. This is because our standard high school courses review the principles and rules learned in the lower levels.

Why are some of the lessons so long?

We recommend that students work for a certain amount of time each day, instead of trying to complete a set number of lessons. Additionally, some lessons contain parts that are meant to be completed on separate days, so it is likely that your child will be working on more than one lesson each day. For example, you may start by reviewing a spelling rule and dictating one set of words to your child, and then move to the next lesson and complete a geography assignment. The following day you would return to the same spelling lesson and dictate another set of words before proceeding to the next lesson you are working on. Our new editions of Levels K-3 are formatted in a daily lesson schedule.

My child finished early. Do I wait until next year to start the next level?

No, you can continue straight into the next level when your child finishes his or her current course.

How do I report a typo/error?

Please email our customer support team ([email protected]) if you find a typo in the curriculum. If you are using an edition that is older than two years, the typo has most likely been fixed and will not need to be reported.

Does The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts courses follow Common Core standards? How does it compare to public school?

Our curriculum does not follow Common Core standards, but it does match or exceed most national public school standards. The academic spine of our curriculum was developed by compiling national state standards and then determining which ones match Good and Beautiful moral standards and the abilities of our pilot families. We believe that children who work on The Good and the Beautiful curriculum consistently each day will find that they are far above public school standards.

What educational philosophies does the Language Arts curriculum follow?

The Language Arts courses are not based on one specific educational philosophy or method. Rather, the creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies over a period of years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different philosophies, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

Does the curriculum include doctrines specific to any certain Christian denomination?

No. The goal of The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is not to teach doctrines specific to a particular Christian sect, but to teach general principles of moral character such as honesty and kindness. The King James Version of the Bible is used when quoting Bible verses.

Which language arts courses have new editions and when did they release?

Language Arts New Edition Schedule (Schedule Last Updated June 2022):

Preschool: A new edition of our Preschool Course (which replaced our Pre-K Language Arts course) released on August 30, 2021.
Kindergarten Prep: Kindergarten Prep (which replaced our Level K Primer course) was released on April 19, 2022.
Level K: A new edition was released on June 7, 2022.
Level 1: A new edition was released on June 14, 2022.
Level 2: A new edition will be released in July 2022.
Level 3: We are currently working on creating a new edition of Level 3 that will be released in early summer 2023.
Level 4: A new edition of Level 4 was released on October 12, 2020.
Level 5: A new edition of Level 5 Language Arts was released on March 8, 2022.
Levels 6 and 7: We plan to release new editions of these levels in 2024.
High School LA Courses: We do not have plans to revise these courses. We will not be releasing any more high school classes in 2022 or 2023.

Preschool

The course book isn't very large; is it supposed to last an entire school year?

The length of time it will take a child to go through the course book will vary with each child. For some children it will take an entire year or more, and for others the course book will be finished in a few months. Whenever you finish, move on to the Level Kindergarten Prep course.

 

What age should I start my child?

Most children start the course at the age of 3 or 4. If your child can count to five and recognize pictures of and say the words for apple, monkey, alligator, garbage can, elephant, and dinosaur, he or she is ready for the course. However, we strongly recommend not moving the child through the course too quickly. Some children, especially younger children, will need to move slower than others.

Kindergarten

How is the new edition different from the previous one?

Like all of our language arts courses, the following subjects are integrated into the course: reading, writing, literature, spelling, geography, art appreciation, art instruction, grammar, usage, and punctuation. 

The Level K course set comes with three items: The Level K course book, Reading Booster A Cards, and Reading Booster A Books Set. A Level K Answer Key is available as a free download above and on The Good and the Beautiful Homeschool app. This answer key includes answers only to select pages (not every page).

Lessons take 10-15 minutes. The course also encourages you to work with the child on reading booster cards or books for 6 to 10 minutes. Level K focuses heavily on phonics and reading and requires one-on-one time with a parent or teacher each day.

This course includes a total of three units and three unit reviews. The assessment includes extra practice for any principle the child does not pass so you can check the child’s progress and assign extra practice as needed.

You are welcome to download the entire course (for free) on our website to see if it is a good fit for your family. There is also a flip-through video of our amazing new Language Arts Level K above.

How long will it take to complete the Level K Course Book?

The course consists of 120 lessons divided into three units and three unit reviews. To complete the course in one average school year, the child should complete one lesson daily, four days a week. This allows for five weeks of vacation days and/or sick days in addition to normal school breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break.

Is there an Answer Key?

An answer key is available on The Good and the Beautiful Homeschool app or as a free download above.

Are PDFs free to download?

The PDFs are free for all items that are part of the course set. You can purchase a PDF of the optional My First Nature Reader under Recommended Resources on the Language Arts Level K product page.

Does my child need to master the subject before moving on to the next level?

All of our levels have a lot of review. We do not expect children to retain everything learned the first time concepts are introduced. Therefore, we build review into our courses in a spiral method. All concepts taught will be covered again, usually multiple times.

When is my child ready to begin the Level K course?

The child is ready to begin Level K when he or she has all the letters and their most common sound solidly mastered and can identify all the letters as either uppercase or lowercase. The child should also be able to recite the alphabet. Please see our Placement Test for additional placement suggestions and details.

I am teaching more than one child. What do I need to purchase?

Each child will need their own Course Book. The Booster Cards and Booster Books Sets can be shared. The Booster Cards do have only one set of stickers the child gets to use to show completion so each child may benefit and enjoy having their own set of Booster Cards.

When will the Nature Readers (for Levels K-2) be released?

My First Nature Reader is available now. My Second and Third Nature Readers will be released later in the summer of 2022. My First, Second, and Third Africa Readers will be released after that. At this point, we have not decided if we will have other My First, Second, and Third Readers series after that.

When do I use the My First, Second, and Third Nature Readers?

The Good and the Beautiful My First, Second, and Third Nature Readers are designed to give the child extra independent reading practice at exactly the level the child is on, which boosts confidence and makes reading less overwhelming and a more enjoyable and positive experience.

These wonderful books to read are not integrated with the courses, but all they all follow the exact scope and and sequence of the Reading Booster Cards as follows:

My First Nature Reader: Reader Booster A Cards
My Second Nature Reader: Reader Booster B Cards
My Third Nature Reader: Reader Booster C Cards

Level 1

What do I do if my child finishes all of the sight word ladders and Phonics Cards?

That’s great! Have your child spend extra time reading. We also suggest reviewing the cards and word ladders once every 1–2 weeks.

What is dictation? How is it done?

To dictate a sentence or a word means you say the sentence or word out loud and the child writes it down. After each word or sentence, give any correction needed. Have the child write the sentence or word correctly if it was incorrect the first time.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

The Level 1 Reader was previously an optional resource. It is now an integrated and required part of the updated 3.0 edition of the course. If your child is reading at a higher reading level, you can supplement with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 2

When do we read the books in the book pack?

The previous edition of Level 2 integrated four books (The Beatinest Boy; Sarah, Plain and Tall; Lumber Camp Library; and Prairie School).

The third edition of Level 2 does not use any of these books. The third edition of the course integrates different books, and they are all included in the Shared Reader, which is included with the course set. The books contained in the previous book pack are wonderful reading books for this level. We suggest using them for your child’s personal reading if you already own the book pack.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

Previously, the reader for Level 2 was an optional resource. There are now two readers integrated with the lessons: the Personal Reader and Shared Reader. Each reader is perfect bound rather than spiral bound.

The new Personal Reader contains the same stories as the original Level 2 Reader, but it has updated illustrations. The old edition of the reader may be used to complete the course, although the page numbers will vary, which will make it difficult for the child to know what section to read for each lesson.

Level 3

Are the spelling and grammar rules reviewed in the next levels, or does my child need to master them now?

Spelling and grammar rules are reviewed in our upper-level lessons, so your child does not need to master them now.

Can my child work independently in Level 3?

Level 3 is meant to be completed one-on-one with a parent, as this course focuses heavily on phonics and reading. It is not required that your child complete one lesson per day, but rather, he or she will work for a certain amount of time. It is possible that only a portion of a lesson will be covered, or several lessons may be completed each day. Instructions are included in the course book.

In what lesson will my child read A Penny's Worth of Character needed?

The previous edition of Level 3 integrated A Penny’s Worth of Character. The third edition of Level 3 does not use this book or any others. The third edition of the course integrates different books and readings, and they are all included in the Reader and I Sat by the Sea Poetry Collection, which are included with the course set.  A Penny’s Worth of Character is a wonderful reading book for this level. We suggest using it for your child’s personal reading if you already own it.

Are the readers required to complete the course?

The Level 3 Course Set includes the Course Book, an I Sat by the Sea Poetry Collection book, and the Level 3 Reader, all of which are required to complete the course.

Level 4

Which pastels do I need?

You will need chalk pastels. Suggestions from Amazon.com: NuPastel 36 (high-quality recommendation) or B441R078-7003A (less expensive recommendation)

Can I transition to the new 2020 edition from the previous edition?

Yes, if desired. The scope and sequence for this course have changed, but families may transition by reviewing the free download to find the best place for their child to begin.

How much of the course has changed from the update in 2020? Do the children read the same books and stories?

About 90% of the course book has changed. The personal reader contains two new books and two books that were included in the original edition (Carlotta and The Belgian Twins). The Level 4 World Biographies Reader is brand new.

Does Level 4 still use the Creative Companion or Geography & Grammar Cards?

No. Many of the Creative Companion components have been integrated into the full-color course book. The Geography & Grammar Cards are now introduced in Level 5.

Level 5

How is the new edition different from the previous one?

Like all of our language arts courses, the following subjects are integrated into the course: reading, writing, literature, spelling, geography, art appreciation, art instruction, grammar, usage, and punctuation, and even just a little bit of baking and cooking, connected to the literature in the course.

The Level 5 course set comes with three items: The Level 5 course book, the Level 5 Book Set, and the geography and grammar cards. An answer key is also available as a free download or a physical answer key is available to purchase.The Level 5 Book Set comes in a sturdy box so you can keep the books and watercolor booklets stored together.

Lessons take 25 to 50 minutes. The course also encourages the child to do personal reading for at least 20 minutes every day. A separate daily checklist is no longer needed as everything is included in the Level 5 Language Arts Course Book. The course is mainly student-directed, as the previous edition was, with each lesson starting with a short section that the parent completes with the child. This course includes a total of six units, three section reviews and a course assessment. The assessment includes extra practice for any principle the child does not pass so you can check the child’s progress and assign extra practice as needed.

The new Watercolor Around the World activities are a unique component that was a big favorite with our pilot families. Step-by-step instructions for 12 projects that are integrated through the course connect to what the student is studying in the course. Also included are templates for each project printed on high-quality watercolor paper. Please note that if you print the unit yourself, we highly recommend that you use high-quality watercolor paper to make the projects easier and more fun for the child. You may want to consider purchasing the Watercolor Around the World set for this reason.

You will find a lay flat perfect binding on our Level 5 Course book, rather than the coil binding previously used. The pages are perforated for easy removal or the child can write directly into the book, as usual.

State capitals are memorized, as they were in the previous course, but we have now added Canadian Provinces and Territories.

You will still find a focus on writing with our writing workshops, but they are all combined into one course book, and now include additional projects such as hymn writing, which is incorporated through many activities and lessons throughout the course. Other writing assignments include writing essays, thank you notes, stories, articles, newsletters, book reviews, and nature poetry workshops.

Spelling workshops are now included in every other lesson and are located right in the course book. These activities are a powerful and fun way to create strong spellers. Spelling rules, unit spelling words, suffixes and prefixes, contractions, and commonly confused words and more are all covered in our new Level 5 Language Arts Course Set.

You are welcome to download the entire course (for free) on our website to see if it is a good fit for your family. There is also a flip-through video of our amazing new Language Arts Level 5 posted on our YouTube Channel.

Which watercolors do I need?

You will need a set of quality pan watercolors (not tube watercolors) with at least 24 colors including basic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black). Although we do not have specific suggestions, this set is one that our customers have found to be a great option:

Watercolors on Amazon

Are the books required to complete the course?

All of the books in the Book Set are integrated into the course and required. The books can be purchased separately, but a discount is given when items are purchased together in the Book Set. There are four books that come in the set with the watercolor books and are required for the course. There is a fifth book that is available as an audiobook only on our website.

Unit 1: Chico of the Andes

Unit 2: Gabriel and the Hour Book (audiobook only)

Unit 3: Marjorie

Units 4 and 5: The Clockmaker’s Son

Unit 6: Captured Words

How long will it take to complete the Level Five Course Book?

The course consists of 120 lessons divided into six units, three section reviews, and a course assessment. To complete the course in one average school year, the child should complete one lesson daily, four days a week. This allows for five weeks of vacation days and/or sick days in addition to normal school breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break.

What is included in the Book Set?
  • Watercolor Around the World, Instruction Book and Watercolor Pad. The course book tells students when to complete assignments in the Watercolor Around the World book.
  • Books: Captured Words, Chico of the Andes, Marjorie, and The Clockmaker’s Son

Assigned reading of each book is integrated with the lessons and required to complete the course.

Are the Geography & Grammar Cards still being used?

Yes, the course tells students when to practice the Geography & Grammar Cards.

Is there an Answer Key?

An answer key is available to purchase as a printed book under Recommended Resources or to download as a free PDF.

Is Language Arts Level 5 a parent-led level?

The child will do much of the learning on his or her own in this course. The lessons are designed to be engaging and very clear. They go in small, incremental steps so that the child is not confused or overwhelmed. The parent or teacher should check the child’s work on a daily basis, giving feedback.

Should I be editing my child’s writing assignments in the writing workshops and having him or her rewrite them?

Point out obvious errors, such as missing periods, and make sure the child followed instructions, such as using two or more transition words. Other than that, we suggest not having the child rewrite writing assignments. The child will be prompted to edit and revise writings.

Are the Watercolor Book and Template Sheets sold separately?

The Watercolor Book and Template are sold as a set. The set can be purchased separately from the Book Set.

Are PDFs still free to download?

The PDFs are free for all items, so your child can read the books in the Book Set on a screen if physical books are not important to you. However, the watercolor pad is the biggest problem with at-home printing. The watercolor pad has templates printed on it, and at home printers usually cannot print on watercolor paper. We strongly recommend students use watercolor paper, which is so much more effective than painting on regular copy paper.

Will there be a challenging word/sentence climb?

The challenging word and sentence climbs are not included in this course level. Reading and vocabulary are taught with many other activities and with the literature incorporated throughout the course.

Level 6

When should my child start reading Little Lord Fauntleroy ?

Your child will begin reading this book in Lesson 33.

Why is there no daily checklist for Level 6?

Each level is slightly different from the other levels in order to provide variety and to prevent boredom. In Level 6 there are less items for the student to do on a daily basis; however, a checklist is provided on the first page in your Level 6 Course Book.

Level 7

My child completed Level 7, is he or she really ready for High School Language Arts levels?

Yes, your child is now ready for our High School Language Arts levels. However, you may want your child to complete our Level 8 Book Studies before starting high school courses for some of the following reasons:

1. He or she finished Level 7 in the middle of a year and wants something to work on before starting high school in the upcoming school year.
2. He or she is not interested in eventually completing high school courses earlier than 12th grade.
3. He or she is not quite ready for more intense reading, or needs more review of principles before moving on to high school courses.
4. He or she is not old enough for books with more mature (but still appropriate) topics and some wholesome romance.

The Level 8 Book Studies are optional; students do not need to complete any Book Studies between Level 7 and high school. They do not teach any new grammar, punctuation, or usage principles. Rather, the Book Studies review principles learned through Level 7. However, the Book Studies include new literature, spelling words, memorization, geography, art, handwriting, and writing assignments.

Can I count Level 7 as high school credit?

The instruction in Level 7 is comparable to 9th grade work.

What do I do if my child has finished the Geography & Grammar cards?

Your child should review the completed cards once or twice a week to retain the information.

Level 8 Book Studies

Why were the Level 8 Book Studies created?

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum has no Level 8 Language Arts course. The language arts courses go from Level 7 to the high school courses. The Book Studies are designed for students who have completed The Good and the Beautiful Level 7 Language Arts course but do not want to start high school courses yet.

How are the Book Studies completed?

In these student-directed studies, the student simply reads and follows the instructions in each lesson. The parent or teacher checks the student’s work (daily or weekly) using the answer key.

How many Book Studies should be completed and in what order?

Each of the Book Studies has a different number of lessons, depending on the length of the book. Each lesson takes an average of 25–35 minutes to complete. It is recommended that a student doing Book Studies for their sole language arts instruction do 1–2 lessons per day.

The Book Studies do not go in any specific order. Students are encouraged to choose the Book Study they would like to complete, but they are also encouraged to choose a variety of genres, including biographies.

There is not a set number of Book Studies that should be completed. These studies are a way to keep students reading good literature, learning new vocabulary, writing, and reviewing principles learned in previous levels until they are ready to move to the high school courses. We will be releasing one Book Study every 4–6 months.

What is needed to complete a Book Study?

To complete a Book Study, you will need the following items:

1. The Book Study Booklet
2. The associated reading book
3. The Good and the Beautiful Grammar and Writing Guide (This non-consumable guide is also used for the high school courses.)
4. A blank (unlined) notebook for writing and drawing
5. Art supplies specific to each Book Study